Friday, May 8, 2015

IT News Head Lines (TweakTown) 5/9/2015


Autonomous vehicles could arrive sooner than drivers like to think
American drivers aren't fully onboard with autonomous vehicles that can drive themselves on public roads and highways, though it looks like it could be a reality sooner than many of us think. BMW, Audi, Hyundai, Ford, Mercedes, Honda, Tesla, Lexus, and other car makers are at various stages of research, with testing across the world underway.

Automakers are embracing technology while developing self-driving vehicles, pledging they can be safer than human drivers. However, drivers are worried about safety, privacy, cybersecurity, and other problems that must be addressed sooner rather than later.

"The rise of the machine is really happening," said Thilo Koslowski, VP of automotive practice at the Gartner research group, in a statement published by Bloomberg. "But a lot of consumers lack trust in the technology. That is the biggest issue facing these smart machines."

In the future, automakers will continue testing their self-driving products, and promote the technology to drivers. Billions of dollars are being invested in creating self-driving technology, including cameras, sensors, higher speed chips, and other hardware to support autonomous features.

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Trade group predicts 1 million drone flights per day in US by 2035
There could one day be 1 million drone flights per day in the United States by 2035, according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is slowly embracing commercial drone flights, while consumers are increasingly flying drones for a number of recreational purposes.

On the commercial side, farmers can now use drones to spray crops, and survey their property. Real estate agents and Hollywood film studios have also found use for drones, after receiving government approval.

"This is a billion-dollar technology market literally just waiting to take off," said Brian Markwalter, senior vice president of research for the CEA, in a statement. "We see a dynamic market with tremendous growth potential," as the FAA continues to study commercial drone flights over US soil.

The FAA wants to create guidelines for private and commercial drone flights, especially as reported incidents between small drones and traditional aircraft rise. There are still a number of issues that must be addressed moving forward, but it looks like the US government is more willing to open dialogue with drone supporters and the public.

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MSI unveils 990FXA GAMING, the first AMD motherboard with USB 3.1
MSI has just unveiled its new 990FXA GAMING motherboard, a new board that will take AMD CPUs and APUs, but the special feature here is the inclusion of USB 3.1.

USB 3.1 is up to twice as fast as USB 3.0, with the new 990FXA GAMING motherboard featuring two USB 3.1 ports. USB 3.1 allows for a huge 10Gbps, which is double that of USB 3.0's 5Gbps, and 20x faster than the speed USB 2.0 has on offer at 480Mbps. The new MSI 990FXA GAMING motherboard even features two USB 3.1 front headers, "for more convenience".

We also have a KillerNIC e2200 network port, Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 2, and support for both AMD CrossFire and NVIDIA SLI multi-GPU setups. MSI didn't stop there though, we they have also included full support for NVMe, which is a next generation storage standard.

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Microsoft employee says 'Windows 10 is the last version of Windows'
With Windows 10 right around the corner, the news of Microsoft's upcoming operating system being the last could scare some people. But, for others, it shouldn't come as a surprise.

According to Microsoft Technical Evangelist Jerry Nixon, "Windows 10 is the last version of Windows". He added: "Right now we're releasing Windows 10, and because Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, we're all still working on Windows 10". If this is the last version of Windows, we can expect this to be the biggest launch of Windows ever.

Internally, Microsoft began working on Windows 10 after they started pulling the best parts of Windows 8.1 away, which ended up forming the last version of Windows ever. Instead of massive successive releases of Windows, Microsoft will instead provide improvements and fixes through updates, in a different way. Instead of the usual Patch Tuesday's, we should expect bigger updates over time which will overhaul the operating system.

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3 million World of Warcraft subscribers have left the game in 3 months
It wasn't too long ago that we were reporting that World of Warcraft made over $1 billion in revenue over 2013, but in the last three months, Blizzard has bled out some 3 million subscribers from the game.

For the quarter ending March 31, Blizzard had 7.1 million subscribers to World of Warcraft, a number that is down just under 3 million from its 10 million strong subscriber base at the end of last year. Activision Blizzard does note that while subscriber numbers are dwindling, World of Warcraft is still the number one subscription-based MMO in the world.

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Tesla will unveil Model 3 vehicle priced at $35,000 in March 2016
Tesla has teased the availability of its upcoming Model 3, the more mainstream electric vehicle from the company, for release sometime in March 2016. Company CEO Elon Musk and real life Tony Stark said during his call with Tesla investors: "We are hoping to show the Model 3 in March of next year".

Production of the Model 3 vehicle will start in mid to late 2017, with "late 2017" being "more realistic" according to Musk. The price of the mainstream electric vehicle should be around $35,000 with around 200 miles per charge from the Model 3. The Model 3 will find a home below the Model S and Model X vehicles, with much higher ranges and high-end features.

Tesla Motors' Model 3 will be around 20% smaller than the Model S, with a considerable amount of faith behind the project as this will be Tesla's real shot at making electric vehicles enter the mainstream market.

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Fitness wearable company Fitbit to go public in $100m IPO
The growing activity tracking company Fitbit has today announced plans to float on the stock exchange, in a $100 million IPO.

In documents submitted to the New York Stock Exchange, via TechCrunch, the company has announced it's sold through 20.8 million devices since its inception in 2007. The company has also demonstrated significant growth with over half of its lifetime sales made in the last year, with revenue for 2014 at $745.4 million, a huge leap from $271.1 million in 2013.

Fitbit is upfront about the challenges it faces in a competitive environment, even naming the Apple Watch in it's registration statement, but noting that they "believe we compete favorably with our competitors on the basis of these factors as a result of our leading market position and global brand, advanced and proprietary sensor technologies, software-driven online dashboard and mobile apps, our motivational and social tools, and our premium software offerings" and kicks Apple with "our singular focus on building a connected health and fitness platform, coupled with a leading market share, has led to our brand becoming synonymous with the connected health and fitness category."

We've previously taken a look at some of the company's products including the Flex wristband, Charge HR wristband and Aria Wi-Fi scales.

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Elon Musk welcomes Apple into car business, more engineers to poach
Tesla CEO Elon Musk doesn't seem too worried if Apple wants to make a play in the automotive market, believing his company will have even more employees to try to poach.

Apple reportedly is working on Project Titan, a likely autonomous vehicle project keeping "hundreds of employees" busy, according to CEO Tim Cook. The Silicon Valley computer giant is reportedly dishing out $250,000 signing bonuses and extremely lucrative salaries, specifically looking for car battery experts.

If true, this means Tesla has more skilled engineers in the San Francisco Bay Area to choose from in the future:

"I certainly hope Apple gets into the car business," Musk said following Tesla's earnings report. "That would be great. But we're not seeing any significant attrition of engineers to Apple, for anything. Cars or otherwise. Anyone can find this out by going on LinkedIn. If you look at the trailing 12 months, Tesla has recruited something like five times as many people from Apple as Apple has from Tesla."

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After console success, D4 hits PCs on June 5 for $15
Access Games and Microsoft Studios will release D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die for the PC on June 5, after overwhelming calls for the game to be ported. The game, originally released for the Xbox One last September, will be available for just $15.

Gamers play as a young private investigator, tasked with investigating his wife's murder - where he can travel through time to try to prevent the murder from taking place.

"There were a lot of people who played the PC version at PAX and said, 'Please bring D4 out on the PC," said Hidetaka Suehiro, video game director at Access Games, in a statement published by Polygon. "From the very first day, the people who played it seemed to really enjoy it. I think seeing that is what brought me to my decision. I have no choice but to make a PC version now!"

The game will include a number of modifications so it's able to play well on the PC, and will make use of bug fixes and a released console DLC.


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Minecraft Xbox tops 20 million copies, free DLC for third birthday
Microsoft has announced more than 20 million copies of Minecraft sold for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One game consoles. It's the three-year anniversary of Minecraft: 360 Edition's public release, and Mojang wants to help gamers celebrate: by giving away free colorful skins.

Gamers can download the 1st Birthday Skin Pack, 2nd Birthday Skin Pack, and 3rd Birthday Skin Pack, with the most recent edition including skins created inspired by Mojang employees. This is the first time the earlier skin packs can be downloaded and used by Xbox One gamers.

"To celebrate this monumental occasion, we're giving the 20 million players on Xbox 360 and Xbox One a heap of colorful skins," according to a birthday blog post. "From today until the 17th of May three packs will be available to download for free."

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Unity boss John Riccitiello applauds the PlayStation 4 over Xbox One
John Riccitiello, former CEO of Electronic Arts and current chief of Unity Technologies, believes the Sony PlayStation 4 has "f**king nailed it" and deserves its "victory" compared to the Microsoft Xbox One.

Sony took a "gamer-first" approach, while Microsoft tried to expand the Xbox One's possible user base with marketing towards a broad market.

"Microsoft was focused on the shot after the one they needed to make, putting the 7-ball in the corner pocket, but they missed the first shot and didn't get another shot at it," Riccitiello said during the GamesBeat Summit. "Sony focused on the shot they needed to make, which was win the hearts and minds of the gamer. The broader scope of entertainment might be a bigger idea, but not with an unfocused execution. A tight execution on the 50 million people that matter, which are the people currently lapping up consoles... Sony f**king nailed it, and they deserve the victory."

The PS4 has continually outsold the Xbox One, except towards the end of 2014, when Microsoft offered gaming bundles at a significant price cut. It was this philosophical approach that ultimately has made the difference to gamers:

"There was a clash of ideas that really separated Sony and Microsoft," Riccitiello added. "[The Xbox One and PS4] actually had very similar architecture that they were trying to bring to the table. But Microsoft focused... a lot on entertainment beyond gaming. Microsoft was trying to [compete against] Apple. They didn't feel gaming was big enough to justify the pent-up desire... to have the recognition they wanted as an innovator."

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Federal appeals court rules NSA telephone surveillance program illegal
The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan has asked Congress to find a middle ground between national security and citizens' privacy, after saying the National Security Agency's phone surveillance program went too far.

The court's ruling will put added pressure on Congress to either scrap the program entirely, or make major changes. Using the Patriot Act as a front for its massive data collection, the NSA reportedly collected information on almost every call made in the United States - with data entered into a national database. It remained secret until former NSA contractor Edward Snowden unveiled the illegal phone data sweeps.

"In light of the asserted national security interests at stake, we deem it prudent to pause to allow an opportunity for debate in Congress that may (or may not) profoundly alter the legal landscape," said Judge Gerard E. Lynch, as he announced the decision.

Not surprisingly, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was happy with the court's decision regarding the NSA's questionable surveillance programs.

"This decision is a resounding victory for the law," said Alex Abdo, ACLU staff attorney, in a public statement. "For years, the government secretly spied on millions of innocent Americans based on a shockingly broad interpretation of its authority. The court rightly rejected the government's theory that it may stockpile information on all of us in case that information proves useful in the future."

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Universal Studios calls upon Nintendo to help with theme park
Universal Parks & Resorts teamed up with Nintendo to bring popular characters, games and Nintendo worlds to its Universal theme parks. This is a good move by Nintendo as the Japanese electronics company can generate additional revenue by licensing out brands such as Legend of Zelda, Mario, and others for Universal theme parks in California, Florida, Japan and Singapore.

Additional details about the agreement will be released by both companies in the future.

"Nintendo has created remarkable and imaginative worlds filled with captivating stories and beloved characters," according to a press release from both companies. "Now, for the first time, those stories and characters will be brought to life in entirely new ways - only at Universal theme parks."

Nintendo hardware sales haven't been able to keep pace with rival products from Microsoft and Sony, but Nintendo is expanding its business. In addition to breaking into mobile gaming, the company has interest in product merchandising, its extremely popular Amiibo figurines, and video content based on popular characters.

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Want to check out the Patron distillery? Virtual reality will take you
Popular tequila company Patron has introduced its "Art of Patron Virtual Reality Experience," giving customers the chance to check out its Mexican distillery using VR. The tour can be viewed using an Oculus Rift or Samsung Gear VR headset, with Patron also showing the VR demo at company events and seminars.

The tequila maker recorded its agave fields and distillery using a drone equipped with seven GoPro cameras, with binaural audio recorded so clear sound accompanies the video footage. It took six months to prepare the VR experience.

"It's relatively easy to write brand education materials or shoot a video, but that doesn't always capture the full experience," said Lee Applbaum, global chief marketing officer at Patron Spirits, in a press statement. "What we've created, using the very latest VR technology, is an authentic, intimate and unprecedented look inside our private Hacienda doors, second only to visiting in person."

Embracing VR can be a clever sales and marketing ploy for companies looking to give customers a unique glimpse of operations.

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BlackBerry trying to recreate image that was left in pieces
BlackBerry CEO John Chen took control of BlackBerry less than two years ago, continuing to rebuild the company following a once uncertain future. During its most recent quarter, the company saw continued sales, but saw a profit of $28 million - as Chen tries to revamp the BlackBerry brand after numerous roadblocks.

"Not long ago, the company was in deep trouble," Chen recently said during a chamber of commerce meeting in Canada. "We are now out of trouble in terms of financial, but we haven't established a growth... until that happens nobody will go willingly buy our products."

BlackBerry is still best known for its once popular smartphones - before the Apple iPhone and Google Android - which clearly left the company behind. Chen noted handsets are "important," but there are other solutions that must be explored. In addition to releasing a wide variety of consumer smartphones and tablets, expect BlackBerry to focus more on enterprise hardware and software.

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Plantronics GameCom 788 Headset Review


Plantronics hit the mainstream market hard a few years ago with its 367, 377 and 777 gaming headsets. Previously commonly known for providing office solutions and general PC offerings, these well-priced gaming headsets even enticed 16-year-old me to pick up a pair for myself. Unfortunately, due to the solid headband design, most of these ended up breaking snapping clean in half leaving a lot of duct tape as my saviour.

Now we've seen a full refresh with the release of the Plantronics GameCom 788, a headset that is described on their website as providing you with Dolby 7.1 surround-sound in order for you to "feel every bit of action around you and hear opponents before they see you." Although the frame may have been brittle and the headset a little uncomfortable, the price-point and sound quality made Plantronics' older models a best selling product. Has there been any major improvements made all these years later with the 788 and are the common issues still present? Read on to find out.


The 788 offers you a Dolby Digital surround-sound through a USB-connected product, pumping the sound through two 40mm drivers rated at 20 Hz - 20 kHz, paired with a microphone frequency response of 100Hz - 10KHz.

The supplied 6.5 ft cable is bright deep orange in color to help set it apart from other peripherals and the ear cups are cloth in nature which also allow them to gather a bit of dust as shown in the images.

The rubber arm microphone is non detachable, but can be swivelled and moulded to your liking. The cable for your sound runs outside the headset on the connection from the headband to the ear cups which is also a positive, given many products will sever connections around this area when run internally. The Dolby Digital surround-sound is run purely through the USB connection, without any extra sound cards needing to be implemented.

Pricing & Availability

The GameCom 788 is reasonably priced at $79.99 with free shipping from Amazon, sitting it in the same park as the Tt eSPORTS Dracco Captain and our previously-reviewed CM Storm Ceres 500.

What's in the box?

Featuring a simplistic package of an information card and the headset itself, this plug and play headset comes with optional-download Dolby Digital surround-sound drivers online, but no carry pouch or case is provided.

It's almost mandatory in my eyes that peripherals of today come with a carry pouch. There's nothing more handy than being able to easily store your precious gaming weapons when travelling to a LAN party, attending a gaming event, or simply visiting a friends house.

The cloth earcups are unfortunately not replaceable by leather offerings which is perfectly fine for some, depending on your personal preferences.
... Read the rest in your browser!

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DEEPCOOL Debuts TriStellar ITX Chassis Globally
GAMER STORM is a High-end brand of DEEPCOOL, serving gaming enthusiasts with products that have elegant design and great cooling performance. Adhering to these characteristics, DEEPCOOL releases the first GAMER STORM ITX chassis- TRISTELLAR.

TRISTELLAR disrupts the traditional concept of a PC case, splits components into three isolated cabins. Three "V" shape metal frames ensure TRISTELLAR has a reliable and solid structure. Besides the elegant appearance, it has great cooling performance by separating the most hit-generating parts. The latest gaming configuration provides an excellent choice to DIY PC enthusiasts.

Cabin 1. Graphic Cards

The top cabin supports full-length (up to 320mm) video cards, which is connected to motherboard by a short PCI-E extension cable. Preinstalled 90mm fan in front provides sufficient airflow. There are three 2.5"SDD bays with hot plugging (SATA) ports next to GPU.

Cabin 2. Motherboard

The bottom-right cabin supports a Mini-ITX motherboard, also leaves large space for CPU air cooler (up to 80mm) and120mm case fan, or120mm AIO liquid cooler.

Cabin 3. Power Supply

The bottom-left cabin is capable to accommodate a PSU up to 160mm length. Two 3.5" HDD bays with hot plugging (SATA) ports and one 5.25" HDD slot-load optical drive are furnished.

In addition, to connect components together, cables pass through a hollow aluminum spine to center of the ''V'' shape frames, which comes with a LED power button.

Technical Spec

Available in June globally, 2015

MSRP: 399.99 USD

For more information, please check the official website

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NVIDIA to Wind Down Icera Modem Operations
NVIDIA today announced that it will wind down its Icera modem operations in the second quarter of fiscal 2016. The company is open to a sale of the technology or operations.

The company purchased Icera in 2011 to engage the smartphone revolution with a leading integrated application processor and modem platform. Since then, the company has reshaped its strategy to focus on high-growth opportunities in gaming, automotive and cloud computing applications like deep learning, where its visual computing expertise is greatly valued.

The Icera 4G LTE modem meets the company's needs for the next year or more. Going forward, the company expects to partner with third-party modem suppliers and will no longer develop its own.

The Icera modem operation has approximately 500 employees, based primarily in the U.K. and France, with smaller operations in Asia and the United States.

Further details, including the financial impact, will be provided when NVIDIA's first quarter financial results are announced on Thursday, May 7. To listen to the conference call with analysts and investors, which will be held that day at 2 p.m. PT (5 p.m. ET), dial (303) 223-2696; no password is required. A live webcast (listen-only mode) of the conference call will be accessible at NVIDIA's investor relations website,, and at

- See more at:

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Fixstars Releases 6 Terabyte SSD, the World's Largest 2.5" SATA SSD
Fixstars Solutions, Inc. has released the world's first 6TB*1 Solid State Drive (SSD), the Fixstars SSD-6000M, which is the largest capacity SSD*1 in 2.5″ x 9.5mm form factor. Fixstars is now accepting orders that will be shipped to customers in the United States in late July.


The world's first 6TB drive is built on cutting edge 15nm MLC Flash Memory which has been packed into a dense 2.5″ form factor.

The Fixstars SSD-6000M supports SATA 6Gbps, providing read speeds of up to 540 MB/s, and write speeds of up to 520MB/s for sequential access. As with the Fixstars SSD-3000M, the proprietary SSD controller enables a stable, high I/O performance for sequential access throughout the lifetime of the drive. This characteristic has proven to be highly effective in numerous areas such as video recording, medical imaging, big data analysis, network infrastructure, and industrial applications.

Satoshi Miki, the CEO of Fixstars Corporation, offered the following comment: "The unparalleled performance of our previous model's (The SSD-3000M) sequential I/O helped propel our SSDs and garner lots of attention. Since many of our customers desire even greater capacity, I am excited to offer a new solution and grow the product line with the inclusion of the larger SSD-6000M." He continues, "Since our SSD's capacity is now able to compete with high-end hard drives, we feel our product can draw the attention of data centers as well."

For more detailed information regarding Fixstars' SSD series, please visit

*1 1TB=1,000,000,000,000 Bytes. The actual user space will be smaller.

*2 As of May 7, 2015

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Philips Annual General Meeting of Shareholders approves separation of Lighting business from Royal Philips
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) announced that today's Annual General Meeting of Shareholders (AGM) has approved the separation of the Lighting business from Royal Philips. Following the vote in Amsterdam, Royal Philips will continue the process to set up two market-leading independent companies that will focus on the vast opportunities in health technology and lighting solutions.

"We welcome the decision by the AGM to approve the separation of our Lighting business from Royal Philips and I fully appreciate the historic significance of today's meeting," said Frans van Houten, Philips Chief Executive Officer. "Both our multi-billion euro HealthTech and Lighting Solutions businesses have the right fundamentals for profitable growth in their fields."

The transition of the Lighting business into a separate legal structure will take at least until the end of 2015, in order to be ready for the separation, which is currently intended to be effectuated through an IPO in the first half of 2016. At the same time, alternatives will continue to be carefully reviewed.

The AGM also approved the proposal to re-appoint Frans van Houten, Ron Wirahadiraksa and Pieter Nota as members of the Board of Management for a term of four years. The proposal to appoint David Pyott as a new member of the Supervisory Board was also approved, as well as the re-appointments of Jackson Tai, Heino von Prondzynski and Kees van Lede as members of the Supervisory Board.

Philips' proposal to pay a dividend over 2014 of EUR 0.80 per share in 2015 was also approved by the AGM. The dividend will be paid in cash or shares, at the shareholder's option. More information about the optional dividend can be found here:

In addition, the AGM has adopted the proposal to appoint Ernst & Young Accountants LLP as external auditor of Philips from January, 2016. All other proposals made to shareholders at the AGM were also approved.

For more information about Philips' 2015 AGM, please visit this site: Additional information on the composition of the Board of Management, the Executive Committee, the Supervisory Board, as well as Philips' 2014 results, is included in Philips' 2014 Annual Report that was published on February 24, 2015.

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NVIDIA Announces Financial Results for First Quarter Fiscal 2016
NVIDIA today reported revenue for the first quarter ended April 26, 2015, of $1.15 billion, up 4 percent from $1.10 billion a year earlier and down 8 percent from $1.25 billion the previous quarter. GAAP earnings per diluted share for the quarter were $0.24, unchanged from $0.24 a year earlier and down 31 percent from $0.35 in the previous quarter. Non-GAAP earnings per diluted share were $0.33, up 14 percent from $0.29 a year earlier and down 23 percent from $0.43 in the previous quarter.

"The importance of visual computing is evident all around us," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer of NVIDIA. "Our expertise in this field enables us to take a leading position to advance deep learning, virtual reality and self-driving cars. "Our singular focus on visual computing is aligned with some of the most exciting growth opportunities in computing today," he said.

IP Litigation

The company is looking forward to its case against Samsung and Qualcomm, set to be heard in June at the U.S. International Trade Commission. Last month, NVIDIA received a favorable pretrial claim construction ruling in the case.

Icera Modem Operations

NVIDIA announced on May 5, 2015, that it will wind-down its Icera modem operations in the second quarter of fiscal 2016. It is open to a sale of the technology or operations.

The company estimates that it will recognize restructuring charges in the range of $100 million to $125 million, primarily during fiscal 2016. These charges will consist of severance and other employee termination benefits, tax expense items and other costs associated with the wind-down, if the company is unable to sell the modem operations.

The Icera wind-down or sale is expected to benefit non-GAAP operating expenses in the second half of the year and the company will carefully invest in its growth initiatives of deep learning, self-driving cars and gaming. Non-GAAP operating expenses in fiscal 2016 are expected to be approximately flat with the previous year, excluding litigation costs, which are anticipated to be in the range of $70 million to $90 million as the company defends its intellectual property.

Capital Return

During the first quarter, NVIDIA paid $46 million in cash dividends and repurchased 2.4 million shares. As a result, it returned an aggregate of $99 million to shareholders.

It has announced a 15 percent increase in its quarterly cash dividend to $0.0975 per share, from $0.085 per share. NVIDIA will pay its next quarterly cash dividend of $0.0975 per share on June 12, 2015, to all stockholders of record on May 21, 2015.

It also has announced an increase in its intended return to shareholders in fiscal 2016 to $800 million from the previously stated $600 million, through quarterly cash dividends and share repurchases.

Further, the company's board of directors has extended the previously authorized repurchase program through December 2018 and authorized an additional $1.62 billion, for an aggregate of $2.00 billion available for repurchase.

NVIDIA's outlook for the second quarter of fiscal 2016 is as follows:

  • Revenue is expected to be $1.01 billion, plus or minus two percent.
  • GAAP and non-GAAP gross margins are expected to be 55.7 percent and 56.0 percent, respectively, plus or minus 50 basis points.
  • GAAP operating expenses are expected to be approximately $474 million; non-GAAP operating expenses are expected to be approximately $425 million.
  • GAAP and non-GAAP tax rates for the second quarter of fiscal 2016 are expected to be 23 percent and 21 percent, respectively, plus or minus one percent.
  • The above GAAP outlook amounts exclude restructuring charges, which are expected to be in the range of $100 million to $125 million, primarily during fiscal 2016. These charges will consist of severance and other employee termination benefits, tax expense items and other costs associated with the wind-down, if the company is unable to sell the modem operations.
  • Capital expenditures are expected to be approximately $35 million to $45 million.
First Quarter Fiscal 2016 Highlights

During the first quarter, NVIDIA achieved progress in each of its platforms.


  • Launched NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN X GPU, the world's fastest GPU.
  • Introduced its first living-room entertainment device, NVIDIA SHIELD, the world's first 4K smart TV platform that uses the Internet to connect you to a world of media, games, and apps.
Enterprise Graphics:

  • Introduced its roadmap for physically based rendering -- including Iray 2015 rendering software; Quadro M6000, the world's most powerful professional GPU; and the Quadro Visual Computing Appliance, with eight M6000 GPUs.
HPC & Cloud:

  • Drew more than 4,000 guests to the sixth annual GPU Technology Conference, which focused on deep learning and self-driving cars, and featured talks by leaders in these industries.
  • Major consumer web and cloud companies -- including Baidu, Facebook, Flickr/Yahoo, Microsoft and Twitter -- are using NVIDIA GPUs for deep learning.
  • Announced that its next-generation Pascal GPU architecture will accelerate deep learning applications 10X beyond the speed of current-generation Maxwell processors.

  • Announced availability of NVIDIA DRIVE PX, a powerful car computer that utilizes deep learning to enable self-driving capabilities.

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Linksys Ships First MU-MIMO Enabled Wireless Router
Linksys, the first to sell 100 million routers globally and a leader in networking solutions for the home and business, today announced the availability of the first MU-MIMO enabled Wireless AC router - the Linksys Max-Stream AC2600 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router (EA8500). The new Linksys router leverages the 802.11ac Wave 2 MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple Output) technology, which helps ensure uninterrupted Wi-Fi connectivity to all the devices in the home and function as if multiple devices have their own dedicated router. With MU-MIMO, the whole household can play video games, listen to music, check email, shop, stream movies, and more - all at the same time.

The Linksys EA8500 router incorporates Qualcomm MU | EFX MU-MIMO technology, which helps to provide up to 3x faster speeds compared to current Wi-Fi. The combined 2.53 Gbps Wi-Fi speeds (up to 1733 Mbps for 5 GHz and 800 Mbps for 2.4 GHz) help minimize buffering and enable faster downloads. A supercharged 1.4 GHz dual-core CPU and four Gigabit ports offer blazing-fast speeds perfect for heavy-bandwidth wired gaming. Users can attach devices to the USB 3.0 port and a combo USB 2.0/eSATA port for uninterrupted personal cloud content streaming or to share data across their network. The four removable external antennas are adjustable for maximum coverage, while beamforming technology concentrates the Wi-Fi signal to each device for stronger, better performance and increased mobile speed and range.

"MU-MIMO technology revolutionizes the wireless experience in the home," said Mike Chen, vice president of product management, Linksys. "The average home has more than 8 devices connecting to the Internet, and they're not used for just sending emails and tweets. We're streaming movies and TV shows in high definition, we're video chatting with our friends and family, and we're playing video games against competitors around the globe, all on different devices and often at the same time. To have dedicated bandwidth for their devices simultaneously will enhance the users' experience so they won't see that buffering icon when streaming a movie or listening to choppy music or worse, playing games with lag. We are so confident in the experience that MU-MIMO provides that we will be expanding our product line in the future to include more MU-MIMO routers."

"Qualcomm MU | EFX is designed to greatly improve Wi-Fi performance and consumers' connected experiences," said Gopi Sirineni, senior director of product management, Qualcomm Atheros, Inc. "Industry leaders like Linksys recognize the impact that MU-MIMO can have on home networks, and are delivering advanced products with the speed and efficiency to address the ever-increasing number of devices and high-bandwidth applications."

In an IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Linksys, titled The Home Network, the Neglected Workhorse, IDC surveyed participants that had at least 3 wireless access users in their household to understand the behaviors of wireless Internet use and how MU-MIMO can benefit multi-user/multi-device households. The research project found that people are doing more on their home networks but are using older wireless technology that is not suited for the type of wireless households today - which are multiple-user/multiple-device households:

  • 84% of the respondents said they were streaming movies/TV and another activity such as streaming music, playing games, or surfing the Internet at the same time.
  • Nearly 50% still use routers running versions of Wi-Fi at least 12 years old.
  • 2/3 of the respondents said they had at least 5 devices connected to the Internet and in use at the same time.
  • More than half of survey respondents said they frequently or always experience buffering, interruptions or other performance issues on their home network.
  • 84% of survey respondents cite performance as a key attribute to their router buying decision, far out-distancing range, security and even price.
  • Average selling price of routers is growing too - respondents said they would spend an average of $84 MORE on a router to eliminate performance issues.
  • People want their Wi-Fi: Wireless Internet access ranked #2 of the things that people would not live without. Food ranked #1, followed by Wi-Fi, Smartphone and Sex.
More survey results about multi-user/multi-device households can be found here.

what Linksys learned from the survey is that more households are online with multiple devices - and our research showed that there were an average of 5 devices connected and in use at a time and more than half of users are having buffering and lag issues. People are looking for Wi-Fi that has strong performance, which is why they are willing to pay more for a router that enables them to connect multiple devices simultaneously and not experience any performance issues.

The Linksys AC2600 MU-MIMO router will help address these issues customers are having today and into the future as MU-MIMO becomes the next major Wi-Fi technology in the market.

Pricing and Availability

The Linksys Max-Stream AC2600 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router (EA8500) is available at leading retail and online retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Fry's, Newegg, Office Depot, Office Max, Staples, Target and Wal-Mart at an MSRP of $279.99.

For more information and to purchase, visit the product page.

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New 15.6" GIGABYTE Gaming Laptop P55K Stages Brand Dynamic Design & Speedy GTX 965M Graphics
GIGABYTE revealed the first unit of its new generation of power gaming laptops-the 15.6" P55K, featuring ravishing performance and sporty design as well as monstrous 3DMark 11 score above P7000. The muscular yet gorgeous outlook is absolutely stunning, infusing more punches into the thrilling beast. Its shiny orange stripes brim against the dark chassis, breathing dynamic notes into this powerhouse. A pair of sinking hinges adorns the futuristic vehicle design, adding aggressive touches to the surface. Powered by GTX 965M, the newly born P55K arms every gaming soul with the latest spells and forces for unchartered dimensions.

Gaming-class GTX 965M Graphics: Unleash Your Gaming Souls

P55K features a speedy NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 965M graphics processor. A total package of 2GB VRAM handles higher frame refresh rate with ease and is capable of rendering more detailed graphics when running resource-demanding titles. Scoring P7000+ in 3DMARK 11, P55K with NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 965M giving you a solid edge over other competitors in gaming.

Speedy & Punchy: Versatile Dual Storage

The dual storage incorporates one rapid mSATA SSD up to 512GB and a massive HDD up to 2TB for extra storage. The blistering responsiveness and storage convenience is perfect for either heading for any LAN gathering with a huge collection of games or backing up data and system without cloud access. The impressive performance as well as solid features promises users all-round gaming experiences.

Captivating Moments: More Pixels & Details

P55K sports a 1080p Full HD display delivering vivid colors and contrast for viewing from different angles. When used outdoors or in a bright room, the matte screen with anti-glare coatings eliminates reflections and guarantees excellent comfort for long gaming sessions. Dolby® Digital Plus Home Theater optimizes sound clarity and effects for a high-fidelity audio, creating the most realistic yet thrilling experience when gaming. The built-in Blu-ray Rewritable Drive* supports all the latest media in crystal clear HD quality yet records data to BDXL format as much as 128GB. Backing up large amounts of data without Internet access or cloud services will never be an issue.


Effortless Gameplay: 0.09 inch key travel & LAN Optimizer

P55K boasts 0.09 inch key travel, ensuring crisp and responsive typing on the move; the full-range chiclet keyboard with independent numeric pad makes desktop-like experiences for intuitive gameplay and maximized productivity. The integrated hardware and innovative software makes for an intuitive interface. LAN Optimizer eliminates network latency and improves online gaming and/or web browsing by prioritizing the desired type of packets according to user settings. P55K brings amazing gaming performance with a stack of features, delivering undeniable simplicity and style for enjoying mobility gaming on the move.

P55K Features and Specs

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M GDDR5 2GB
  • Efficient 4th gen Intel® Core i7-4720HQ Processor
  • Brilliant Full HD Wide View Matte Display
  • 16GB RAM/ 1TB HDD/ DVD
  • Full-sized Backlit Keyboard
  • USB(3.0)*4, HDMI, D-sub, RJ45, Mic-in, Earphone-out, SD Card Reader, DC-in Jack
  • Dimensions: 15(W) x 10.6(D) x 1.1 ~ 1.3(H) inch
  • MSRP: $1,249

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MSI unleashes 990FXA GAMING, world's first AMD USB 3.1 GAMING motherboard
MSI, world leading in motherboard design, debuts the world's first USB 3.1 featured AMD GAMING motherboard, the 990FXA GAMING. Delivering blazing fast USB performance, up to 2 times faster than USB 3.0, the new 990FXA GAMING motherboard offers two USB 3.1 ports, which are fully backwards compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 devices. Inheriting the outstanding DNA of MSI's award winning GAMING family, the new MSI AM3+ 990FXA GAMING motherboard features Killer LAN for the best online GAMING experience, Audio Boost 2 powered by Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 2 for astonishing sound quality that gives you the upper hand on the battlefield, USB Audio Power and a completely new hardware and software design for enhanced gaming performance. Get ready for high-end AMD GAMING with MSI.


USB 3.1 allows for speeds up to 10 Gbps, doubling the speed compared to USB 3.0 and 20x faster than legacy USB 2.0. USB 3.1 is even faster than SATA III! Transferring your favorite games, albums and movies over USB has never been faster. The new 990FXA GAMING motherboard features 2 front USB 3.1 connectors for more convenience.

Lethal competitive gaming with Killer LAN

Whether you are a casual or professional gamer, network lag kills. MSI GAMING motherboards feature Killer high-performance networking and provide the highest level of control and network speed for video streaming and gaming. A Smooth, stutterfree network is a must in today's world of online gaming, where a single packet of network data can make the difference between a win or a loss, Killer makes sure that it arrives.

Powered by Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 2

MSI Audio Boost 2 takes on-board audio to the next level. Powered by Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 2, Audio Boost 2 combines a revolutionary hardware layout for audio on the motherboard with the best customizable audio options like Multi-Channel Speaker Calibration and headphone profiles that dramatically enhance your audio experience. The Sound hardware is not only EMI shielded and separated from the motherboard, the power to the high quality amplifiers and audio components is delivered through ultra stable design. Ensuring clean power delivery for the audio components combined with the electrical shielding provides the highest level of on board audio ever experienced.

Optimized for multiple video cards

The MSI 990FXA GAMING motherboard is optimized for multi-GPU use with enough space between the PCI-Express slots for optimal airflow for your video cards. That way, there is no need to worry about heat issues and you are ensured to enjoy the best graphics at the highest framerates jumping off your screen when running an NVIDIA SLI or AMD CrossFire gaming setup.

GAMING engineered to perfection

MSI continues to showcase its love for GAMING products by crafting each GAMING motherboard to perfection. From the inspiring new heat sink with GAMING DNA, a cleaner layout around the CPU socket, matte black PCB across the entire line-up and impressive M-Shield I/O panel cover, it's an inspiring sight for gamers. Details make all the difference.

The most stable and power efficient motherboards

MSI uses award-winning Military Class 4 components. Military Class 4 is the next step in high quality components. Hi-C CAPs, Solid CAPs, Dark CAPs, together with SFC and Dark Chokes, ensure your PC runs stable under extreme conditions. These key components have all passed extreme testing, ensuring stable operation in the harshest environments. The core of Military Class 4 is based on GuardPro, a set of tools which increases your stability in the most challenging conditions, featuring ECO power, circuit protection, humidity protection, high temperature protection, EMI protection and ESD protection. ECO power features MSI ECO Center which allows you to physically cut the power to unused chips to reduce power usage up to 29%.

World's first AMD motherboard with NVMe support

The new 990FXA GAMING motherboard is the world's first AMD motherboard to fully support the next generation in storage control, NVM Express. The 990FXA GAMING motherboard supports NVMe devices as primary storage under Windows7 64bit and Windows8.1 64bit and fully support NVMe booting. Enjoy lower latency, lower power consumption and increased transfer speeds with MSI and NVMe.

For more information about pricing and availability, please contact a local official MSI distributor.

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MSI launches 8 new mighty AMD Godavari ready FM2+ motherboards
MSI, world leading in motherboard design, is pleased to announce the launch of 8 new AMD FM2+/FM2 socket based motherboards supporting the latest AMD Godavari APU. These new models are available in ATX, micro-ATX, and mini-ATX form factors and are backwards compatible with FM2 processors (Kaveri, Richland, Trinity, 6000 and 5000 series). MSI has packed these models with a rich blend of features and technologies, such as onboard LAN, PCI Express 3.0 x16, SATA 6Gb/s, USB 3.0 and multiple display support, offering the most stable and most cost-effective solution available.

New MSI AMD FM2+/FM2 Motherboards

A68HM-E33 V2

A88XM-E45 V2

A78M-E35 V2

A88XM-P33 V2

A78M-E45 V2

A88X-G41 PC Mate V2

A88XM-E35 V2


The best price/performance solution for efficient PCs

MSI's new A88X, A78 and A68H based motherboards are available in different form factors and offer a great choice in connectivity with a RAID controller, onboard LAN, PCI Express 3.0 x16, SATA and up to 10 USB ports.

When combined with today's processors such as Godavari and Kaveri APUs, featuring advanced integrated graphics, MSI's new A88X, A78 and A68H based motherboards support AMD Eyefinity. All these features come at a very attractive price point, making the new MSI A88X, A78 and A68H based motherboards the most comprehensive and most cost-effective solution available.

Military Class 4: The Most Stable Military Class Components

MSI uses award-winning Military Class 4 components, composed of high quality components such as Solid CAPs and Dark Chokes, which ensure your PC runs stable under extreme conditions. These key components have all passed testing to military standards, ensuring reliable performance in the harshest environments.

Military Class Essentials

The core of Military Class 4 is based on the essential elements which increase your stability in the most extreme conditions. Humidity- and high temperature protection ensure system stability in any environment, no matter what. The new structure of the PCB limits EMI emission. On top of that, all connectors have ESD protection to prevent short-circuiting.

OC Genie 4, Click BIOS 4 & Command Center

The MSI A68H series motherboards are equipped with many exclusive technologies, including the one-second overclocking tool OC Genie 4, the easy to use Click BIOS 4 and the Command Center software that combines features such as monitoring, tuning and controlling of your hardware. The unprecedented level of flexibility and control offered in MSI's unique hard- and software design puts you in the driver's seat of your motherboards configuration.

For more information about pricing and availability, please contact a local official MSI distributor.

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Available Tags:MSI , AMD , USB , Microsoft , Windows , Windows , Apple , Xbox , Nintendo , BlackBerry , NVIDIA , SATA , SSD , Philips , Philips , Wireless , Router , GIGABYTE , Gaming , GTX , GAMING , motherboards

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